General Medical Care
General Medical Guide
* In Korea, medical treatment is available at hospitals, public
health centers, private clinics and at what are known as Chinese
medicines. These Chinese medical clinics use herbal rememdies and
traditional methods of treatment.
* You do not need an appointment. Basically, you walk into the hospital and ask for help. You will be directed to the counter where people are paying. You must pay for your appointment before you see the doctor. This is just the basic fee. If you have any kind of Korean medical insurance, make sure you show it to the staff before they bill you.
* Most of the hospitals are open from Monday to Saturday, but not
Sundays and holidays. In case of emergency on Sundays and Holidays, em
ergency rooms of hospitals are available.
* Pharmacists: In case of light illnesses, visit the nearest pharmacist and tell her/him your symptoms. Chinese pharmacists prepare Chinese prescriptions. Not all pharmacists open on Sundays and holidays, but some do. Ingredients and directions are written on the envelope of the medicine.
There are two kinds of medical insurance: 1) company and 2) community medical insurance. Foreigners can have both kinds.
* Company Medical Insurance
Employees of a company, the government, or those authorized by the ministry of Health & Welfare Affairs, can have beneficiaries by the government plan. Health insurance is available for foreigners by enrollment. Students, embassy employees and nuns who do not pay
insurance charges, will not be covered.
* Community Medical Insurance
Foreigners in Korea with F-2 status can be covered by regional insurance. To register, prepare the documents required and submit them, along with an application for medical insurance, to the Medical Insurance Association of Busan. Insurance premiums must be paid every 3 months and are determined by the number of family members to be covered, income and property.
1. Required documents
Passport, Residential card, Certificate of embarkation and disembarkation(Available at any Immigration office, airport or KCAT), copy of citizenship.
To make the insurance plan valid, pre-pay the fee every three months. However, even if one receives treatment by the plan, one needs to prepay the fee in advance. Otherwise, one cannot be protected
by the plan for one year afterwards.
Calling an Ambulance
To dial Emergency from public phones, push the emergency button or put insert a coin. Dial 119 after the signal and the emergency dispatch center will answer. Then, tell the dispatcher the following information.
To Send an Ambulance
- State your name, address or location in detail. Speak clearly and precisely.
- If possible, provide additional details of age, sex and any landmarks near you present location and what the injury involves.
A Typical Hospital Visit
Upon entering a hospital you should go to the information section and they can direct you. They will tell you to go and pay for your visit first and then go to your doctor. If you do not have one, they can direct you as well.
At Paik Hospital you can ask for Doctor Lee Ka-young. She speaks English and is a general practitioner. She spent some time in America.
At Dong-eui hospital you will be directed or given a phone and you will talk to Marie. She is a nurse who speaks English and will help and translate your health problems to the doctor. As well, she will get you through as fast as she can. Usually you are put first in line.